Music

"The value of Death," wrote songwriter Sean Bean, of Boston's Bad History Month, in a dense, intimate introduction to new album Dead and Loving It, "is that it's an infallibly reliable fixed point on the horizon to navigate by when I'm lost at sea."

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

Review: Charlotte Gainsbourg, 'Rest'

Nov 13, 2017

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

The 18th Annual Latin Grammy Awards are set to air live from Las Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 16. Alt.Latino's Felix Contreras visits the show to give his predictions — and some possible predicaments — ahead of this year's ceremony.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Since she was 16 years old, Puerto Rico's Ileana Cabra has been trading slick bars in musical sparring matches with her brothers, René Pérez Joglar and Eduardo Cabra Martinez, better known as the Grammy-winning hip-hop duo Calle 13.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now we turn to a story of love, friendship and music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES")

CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH: (Singing) It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore.

When songwriter David Yazbek, whose mother is Jewish and father Lebanese, decided to write a musical that fused his two cultural backgrounds, he knew he didn't want it to be about tribal conflict.

His new Broadway show, The Band's Visit, attempts to do something that seems almost unfashionable: look at two historically antagonistic cultures and tell a story about their commonality.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Country Music Association Awards ceremony was Wednesday, but people are still talking about the show because of what wasn't said that night. The CMA tried to create a politics-free zone for hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and for reporters covering the event.

William Patrick Corgan would be the first to admit that many people's image of him was locked down back in 1995 as Billy Corgan: frontman of The Smashing Pumpkins. The Pumpkins had just released Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the album with the song "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" -– you know, the one where despite all his rage, he's still just a rat in a cage?

Digital lip-syncing aimed at teens is officially a big, big business: Chinese tech company Bytedance has announced it plans to "merge" with — acquire — Musical.ly, a popular lip-synching app launched in China in 2013.

Financial terms of the deal weren't included in today's announcement, but news reports put the deal's value at between $800 million and $1 billion.

For decades now, country's aesthetic and ideological sensibilities have been shaped as much by the music's modern, middle-class suburban appeal as its rural working-class roots, which can make for quite the rhetorical push-and-pull (likely one of many factors that contributed to the Dixie Chicks' famed expulsion from the format over voicing distaste for the second President Bush during a U.K. concert). Working-class political speech hasn't always been recognized as political at all; it's just as likely to be dismissed as class resentment.

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